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In Harry Potter, what is the difference between a wizard and a warlock?

In the Harry Potter books, warlocks are occasionally thrown into the background (“a couple of warlocks standing near the bar”, or whatever), but is there any difference between them and a normal wizard? Are they just different names for each other….?


  1. Traditionally, a warlock is just a wizard who is especially proficient in war magic
    I don’t know if JK Rowling keeps to this trend
    They are not technically synomous, as wizard is the proper male form of witch.Though it has often come to be through modern literature

  2. Rowling is a funny character, and with respect to Wocrepus, her use of the word is VERY unclear. You cannot write a childrens book which proves you are more erudite about and familiar with the folklore of Magic than Alan Garner. You probably can’t write a better childrens’ book period. He sets the bar SO high, that suggesting Rowling is a failure is VERY unfair. She has precisely done DEEP research into the folklore of witchcraft. She is probably VERY aware that the root word for warlock means “Oath Breaker”. Nevertheless, she USES her learning very creatively and there are several British Traditions — both regional and aristocratic — she mixes without regard to how appropriate it is, and she may well just be using Warlock as a synonym for Wizard, rather than as a Martial Wizard or, as might be appropriate, a Wizard who may or may not be a Death Eater.

  3. I think she said in an interview that she uses warlock to signify a mature, battle-hardened wizard. A Mad-Eye Moody sort of character.


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